Calais: An English Town in France, 1347-1558

Calais: An English Town in France, 1347-1558

Susan Rose


Boydell Press



The first comprehensive history of Calais under English rule, casting new light on the development of its vigorous political and commercial society.
The capture of Calais by Edward III was an exploit which, coming shortly after his victory at Crecy, carried his fame as a warrior to the furthest corners of Europe. The melodramatic incident at the end of the siege with the leading citizens pleading for their lives brought the king even more public notice. Equally well known is the sad remark of Mary Queen of England in 1558 that, following its loss to the French, the name of Calais would be graven on her heart.
This book fills in the gap between these two milestones. It allows the reader to understand not only the military and political importance of the town for the English but also its key role in the English economy. Utilising the richness of the personal sources surviving, from the mid fifteenth century to the last years of English rule, it also provides a more intimate picture of the vibrant life of the town with its crowds of courtiers, soldiers and merchants all enjoying and profiting from the opportunities offered by 'an English town in France'.

Dr SUSAN ROSE is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University.


September 2008
7 black and white, 1 line illustrations
198 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843834014
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Introduction: England and France in the mid-Fourteenth Century
The Siege and Capture of the Town 1346-7: Edward III and the Burghers of Calais
A New Ruler and a New Regime: the Town and the Garrison in the Early Years of English Rule
Setting up the Staple: a New Role for Calais
Triumph and Disaster: Henry V, the Collapse of the Anglo-Burgundian Allianc e and the Resurgence of France
Calais as a Base for Political Intrigue: Yorkists, Lancastrians and the Ear l of Warwick
The Heyday of the Company of the Staple: Merchants and Their Lives
Religious and Political Change: Henry VII, Henry VIII and the Reformation
The Town and Trade: the Later Fortunes of the Company of the Staple and of the Johnson Partnership
The End of the Story: the Loss of Calais to the French


A well-written, fluent narrative, interspersed with analytic chapters on social life in the town, making good use of the Cely, Lisle, and Johnson letters. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
Will be of interest to urban historians, especially those who study how political relations give a new insight into the origins of an English town in France. Rose shows the interconnectedness of politics, business, trade, and money, and she illustrates how together these created an English town in France. H-URBAN